Teatro Paraguas is presenting a staged reading of Parted Waters, a play by Los Alamos playwright Robert F. Benjamin.
Originally presented as a full production by Teatro Paraguas in 2010, Parted Waters is a gripping yet humorous drama about three generations of a Hispanic family in Northern New Mexico with crypto-Jewish roots.
Parted Waters focuses on three Hispanic men– grandfather, son, and grandson– whose farm near Truchas has been in the family for generations.
Grandfather Reynaldo tends the farm and is mayordomo (foreman) of the local acequia. His son Javier has struggled to build a high-tech career and care for his family in Albuquerque. His son Miguel has two college degrees, a promising career as a hydrologist, and is running for state office.
Besides diverging cultural values and life-styles, the familial bond is challenged by the fact that Reynaldo and Javier are aware of the family’s Crypto-Jewish roots, while Miguel is not. Javier is determined to bury that part of the family’s past. An unintended slur by Miguel during a political debate with his opponent Phyllis Goldstein, whose estranged daughter is Miguel’s campaign manager, nearly destroys the family but reveals the truth.
Parted Waters was originally commissioned by the Arizona Jewish Theater, where it premiered in 2009. Three theater companies in New Mexico have produced the play, and it has received staged readings in Los Angles, Philadelphia, New York and Florida.
Directed by Catherine Donavon, the cast for the reading includes Elias Gallegos, Jonathan Harrell, Alix Hudson and Argos MacCallum.
Performances are at 2 p.m., Saturday and Sunday Nov. 5-6. A post-show community dialogue on crypto-Judaism in New Mexico takes place after both performances.